CRN Exclusive: Curvature Jumps Into Software Defined-Storage With DataCore Partnership

Hardware reseller and IT services provider Curvature is partnering with DataCore Software to add software-defined (SD) storage to its repertoire.

The partnership will bring together DataCore's SD-storage software, which can run on any commodity hardware, with Curvature’s hardware reseller business for low-cost equipment options, as well as the provider's professional services arm. The agreement makes Curvature an authorized reseller of DataCore's software.

DataCore's software, combined with Curvature's hardware and professional services, will give customers a competitive storage solution at an attractive price point, said Jeff Zanardi, vice president of business development and chief marketing officer for Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Curvature.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Curvature Taps 35-Year Dell, HP Vet To Boost Channel Strategy]

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"Customers are caring less about their vendor relationships, and more about the value that their vendors and partners are bringing to their total business," said Steve Houck, chief operating officer for Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based DataCore Software.

Curvature has recently begun ramping up its efforts around professional and managed service offerings for its end customers, in addition to its legacy hardware-reselling business. The partnership between the two companies is unique because equipment companies haven't gotten into the SD-storage space yet, said Vince Bradley, CEO of Malibu, Calif.-based telecom master agent and connectivity services distributor World Telecom Group (WTG), an agent partner for Curvature.

Curvature's focus on managed services, in addition to equipment, is a differentiator for the company, Bradley said.

Customer interest in services and the cloud could facilitate revenue growth for SD-storage for Curvature, Bradley said. "I would imagine that [Curvature] could experience double-digit percentage growth from it if they can execute the right business plan for it," he said.

Managing storage architecture within the same organization can be very complex and costly. There are often many incompatible devices within the same organization, coupled with different software provided by the storage OEMs running those devices that don’t talk to each other, Curvature's Zanardi said. "You end up having silos of storage," he said.

Unlike OEM competitors, DataCore's SD-storage software can run on any underlying hardware, such as Hewlett-Packard servers, for example. The disaggregation of the hardware from the software allows customers to use any low-cost hardware, including preowned hardware or assets they already own that Curvature can support and maintain.

Because the software doesn't rely on the hardware brand, there is no vendor lock-in, which can drive huge cost savings, Zanardi said.

"Curvature and DataCore are coming together to give customers a very unique alternative to how they should be looking at their storage infrastructure," DataCore's Houck said. "All of the hardware needs customers have -- whether it's just an upgrade to [existing hardware] or they want used equipment to build out large storage environments -- can be fulfilled by Curvature, with DataCore software on top of it for a fully functioning storage solution."

The typical forced upgrade cycle perpetuated by OEM storage vendors also can be broken by using SD-storage, Zanardi said.

"You don't have to rip and replace on the OEM schedule anymore. The hardware works, so don't throw away what's working. It makes no sense financially," he said.

Down the road, Curvature hopes to make its preowned hardware available to other solution providers selling DataCore's SD-storage software, Zanardi said. "We want to help other DataCore resellers have access to the same hardware that they, perhaps, haven't had at their disposal in the past," he said.

While SD-storage isn't something that end customers are clamoring for quite yet, demand is gearing up, WTG's Bradley said. "We see it being key in the years to come with cloud growth and implementation," he said.